If you’re either part of the blogosphere or addicted to it (and The Other Charlotte and I are both), Wednesday was a red-letter day: the launching at a big New York confab of Open Source Media (bookmark it now!), the new bloggers’ consortium that includes many faves of this site. Neither TOC nor I were invited–boo hoo, we’re blogging small-fry!–but the redoubtable La Shawn Barber and the IWF’s own Cathy Seipp were, so we don’t feel too bad. (La Shawn live-blogged the conference, as did Sense of Soot.)
Not surprisingly, most of the best bloggers these days are wingers, and there’s a reason why. Liberals are the Media Elite, and the Media Elite want to remain that way: elite. For years they stood on the pedestals of Big Journalism and lectured the rest of us on how we should think and vote and on what was trendy. Bloggers have knocked them off those pedestals–or stolen their audiences–and they’re running scared.
The fear and loathing of Our Intellectual Betters was never so well expressed as by the appearance of the Ivy-educated New York Times art correspondent Elizabeth Hayt at a confab panel on fashion blogging. Hayt’s main contribution to the panel was to announce, “I hate blogs,” and to declare that she never read them. As blogstress Never teh Bride reported:
“Author and writer Elizabeth Hayt expressed her opinion that, ‘blogging is absurd. It’s a hobby for rich people with too much time on their hands’ just before moving on to ask why blogging is so mean spirited.
There’s nothing “mean-spirited,” of course, about Elizabeth Hayt, author of “I’m No Saint::A Nasty Little Memoir of Loving and Leaving.” According to the reviews, Elizabeth is one of those gals who considers wifehood and motherhood just too stifling (even though she’s a mom), and so decided to embark on a far more interesting life of sex and drugs, even though she was in her ’40s and a wee bit old for the Kate Moss thing. Here’s what Publishers Weekly says:
“Now in her mid-40s, the author, who writes for the New York Times, among other publications, considers no detail sacred as she recounts her failed marriage (she was 35 when she and her husband separated; 43 when they finalized the divorce), and her numerous subsequent sex partners, cosmetic surgery and trials as a mother and emerging writer and art critic. While it may be hard for some to respect a person whose activities are fueled not only by desire but also by drugs, Hayt’s honesty about her struggles as a woman who married early without a chance to discover her own path in life will resonate with many…. Luckily for readers, Hayt decided to pursue her dream of writing with a passion she once directed toward her love of excess. This memoir will speak to women who have taken on society’s role as ‘wife, mother, and teacher’ only to feel as though they were ‘passive concessions to someone else’s expectations.'”
You can tell that Elizabeth is having a good time in her new life by noting the happy expression on her face in this photo of her with fellow panelists Kim Weinstein and Kristen Kelly, fashion bloggers both.
The best summing up of the reactions of the Elizabeth Hayts of this world to the new blogging universe comes from master-shoeblogger Manolo, who participated in the conference via IM and a voice-over by an impersonator of Manolo’s inimitable Eurotrash verbal style:
“For the Manolo the great trend, as he has noted below, it is the democratization of the fashion, and the great strength of the fashion blogging it is that it is part and parcel of the democratizing trends of the age.
“Individuals now have voices that are being heard, and the animus of the Elizabeth Hayt to the blogs perfectly illustrates how this trend it has upset the poobahs and panjandrums, who believe that they alone are entitled to speak to the unwashed masses.
“But, sadly for the Elizabeth the Correspondent and those who are like her, the world it is changing under their feet, and the pride they take in their ignorance and lack of curiosity will not change this.”